The Aftershocks of Grief

This week feels hard so I’m taking some time to process my grief.

Nothing major happened to me recently, but sometimes it’s the small tremors, those aftershocks that echo long after events pass that build up into something overwhelming. I’m finding the small tremors hard to prepare for. They don’t give us any warning.

Tragically Hip

Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip died yesterday. I’m not a superfan but his songs have punctuated many of my life’s moments. I watched the final concert, and remained impressed with the legacy he chose to leave: fighting for aboriginal rights and fundraising for brain cancer research. But his death triggers a lot of grief, watching a public figure go through the same horrible brain cancer my friend died from. I’ve tried distancing myself from the coverage but it hurts. I miss her so much right now.


E and I in 2009. I miss you.

Then, there’s Sears.

Sears Canada is going bankrupt and liquidating it’s assets. This is more than a little devastating. I grew up with Sears; more than just looking forward to the Wish Book catalogue every Christmas. My dad worked there for 30 years and most of my things and clothes and furniture came from that store. As a teenager I remember being so excited when the company bought Eatons, another Canadian icon. It was poised to be a high end department store, with a name and reputation that meant quality. It’s catalogue (which used to service every small community in Canada with it’s pick up locations) should have become Amazon. But in the early 2000s Sears Roebuck (the US owner) changed directions and took away the visionaries at the helm. I’ve watched the store steadily decline since then, Sears Roebuck pilfering the Canadian store, systematically destroying it to pay off its US shareholders. Sears Canada was always a company with heart, one I worked for in the corporate side for 2 years. And now the people who made up its heart are being kicked out without any help in the future. All this time I knew it was coming, but it hurts just the same.

Photo 2017-10-19, 1 23 59 PM

Custom Gift Card my dad sent me with a picture of me and my mom. I still keep it in my wallet.

I grieve because my dad always fought for his employees. Though I’m glad he’s not here to witness the demise of the company he gave 30 years to, it’s like I’m losing him all over again, not to mention losing the possibility of those same wishbook memories with my son. I can only imagine how the families with employees awaiting their last day feel.

Dad and I, wedding day. Image Courtesy of Boyfriend/Girlfriend Photography.

Dad and I, wedding day. Image Courtesy of Boyfriend/Girlfriend Photography


Finally, my heart breaks with the #metoo movement. I count myself lucky that on the sliding scale of sexual abuse, assault and harassment, my experiences have only left me uncomfortable and not worse. But I grieve the sheer number of my friends who have SUFFERED at the hands of entitled @$$3$. I grieve because good men make mistakes or don’t believe their counterparts could ever do that to a woman, and that makes it a difficult conversation to have with them. But I grieve that it is still that rampant and that we as women are still blamed or not believed. I have held these women in the aftermath, loved them and seen the damage first hand. And no one should ever feel that way. EVER! I am so fortunate to know people who have a voice and choose to use it in the aftermath.

So this week I’m taking a lunch out to process my grief by putting it out there in words. I’m not the only one.

So if any of these things are making you grieve this week. You’re not alone. Put it into words or art. It helps.

your turn

What triggers your grief?

6 thoughts on “The Aftershocks of Grief

  1. Loved your article. Put into words a feeling I haven’t been able to put my finger on…I was feeling so bummed out last week – really sad for no one clear reason. I think you nailed it – a whole bunch of things slowly piling up into a shitpile of sadness and general malaise. Feels better knowing I’m not alone. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 😊 Tomorrow’s a new day! (to quote Miss Scarlett) So this too shall pass eventually and bring on the good times. PS – sorry for the loss of your father. He would hate what’s happened to Sears.


    • Thanks kimelliotlake. I felt like I could handle one but with all 3 my heart hurts. And thanks for your condolences. I think dad saw it coming before his passing last year but it still would have been hard for him.


  2. My grief? I’m unemployed as of 2 weeks ago, and this week, my car was declared dead. I’m finding it hard to get a car loan without a job. But what I really want to talk about is Sears. Yesterday, my 12 y.o. son asked me why we buy our appliances from Sears. My response: “I dunno, growing up, that’s just where you went.” His reply, “Well, they always seem to break. Maybe we should go somewhere else.” I hate it when my kids out match me in the wisdom department. But he’s right. Not sure what came first, the decline or the poor products/service, but taken together, they spell the end for Sears. I think Sears is still holding on with the help of those of us who just go there out of habit. I’m sure that number is fewer every year. And now, thanks to my son, they’ve lost me too.


    • Jeff, I’m sorry to hear about your struggles. I hope things turn around for you.

      In general I’m finding most appliances don’t last, but Sears warranties used to be very good, which built up the loyalty. Unfortunately we also watched that decline and now the deadline for honouring warranties has passed. It breaks my heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful words. I have lovely memories of the Sears Wish Book. Funny, how some things can stay so vivid in your mind after so many years. I agree, creativity has saved me many times. To birth a beautiful poem/story/canvas from something ugly like pain/grief is the ultimate healing process.

    Liked by 1 person

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